Avoiding Crisis

childish behavior

with 8 comments

I stooped to the level of a 4-year-old this evening. I dumped an entire cup of water on my daughter’s head.

That wasn’t very nice of me and she didn’t deserve it; she only kinda sorta deserved it, that is, if we lived in a parallel universe where it’s okay for mommies to act like children.

We have this argument every night about how much water she can drink before bed time. She’s a very very deep sleeper and doesn’t tend to get up in the middle of the night if she has to pee. Every now and again she has an accident and we deal with it. Okay, I deal with it as she walks around her room half asleep clutching her blanket and dolly wondering why on Earth it’s taking so long to change the sheets. But we are proactive about this in that we limit how much fluid she has after dinner.

So tonight I got home from a birthday party with my youngest, who was completely jacked up on sugar and very very tired, and immediately had to deal with the gazillion questions from my 4-year old. What kind of party was it? Was there a show? What was the theme? Did you let Owen eat candy? How much candy did he eat? Shouldn’t I be allowed to have candy since he ate candy? This really didn’t get things started off on the right note.

The party happened to be a Backyardigans party. My kids LOVE the backyardigans. Seriously, how can you not love the backyardigans? The party favor was a plastic backyardigans cup filled with a silly straw and candy. My 4-year-old had to have this cup. That, and she wanted some water.

4 yr old: Mommy, can I have some water?
Me: Sure, but only a little bit since it’s almost bed time.
4 yr old: Can I use Owen’s new backyardigan’s cup?
Me: Sure, but only if, after you finish up your water, you bring it upstairs with you and put it in the bathroom so that your brother can use the cup to dump water on himself while in the tub.
4 yr old: Yes, mommy. Can I have some water now?
Me: (I pour the water) Here’s what you are allowed to have. No more. Don’t ask me for anymore. And no drink before bedtime since you’re having this.
4 yr old: Okay.
Me: You understand what I’m telling you. Don’t ask me for anything else.

I head upstairs. My husband calls for my daughter to come upstairs for her bath. No response. He calls again. And again. Still no response. At this point I scream bloody murder asking her to respond to her father when he calls for her. At the same time I start to head downstairs to see what’s going on, cause my motherly instincts tell me that something is definitely going on.

4 yr old: I’m coming.

She walks, very carefully, out of the kitchen holding the Backyardigans cup filled to the top with water. She stops and takes a sip. And another. And another. I leap down the last 4 steps. grab the cup. and….yes, I did, I dumped it over her head.

I know…it wasn’t a nice thing to do. It also wasn’t a smart thing to do – it created a whole lot of work for me as I then had to clean up the floor. I think she got the message. Either that or she just thought mommy had forgotten to take her meds.

Obviously it didn’t help any that I was already in a pissy mood seeing that I’ve dealt with 3 all-out-tantrums from a 2-year-old earlier in the day and was at a birthday party for the daughter of a sorta-friend who used to be a really good friend who now I’m not sure what’s going on. But that’s for another post.

Oh, and do you think it was too harsh for me to tell her that if she was to pee in her bed this evening that she would have to sleep in it without me getting up to change the sheets. And when she asked what she should do if she had to pee in the middle of the night I told her that she, under no circumstances, should wake me up and that she should just go ahead and pee and go back to bed. Was that mean of me?

Of course, when this was all said and done, my husband had to point out that my behavior was almost as childish (okay, so he said, more childish) then his recent argument with my 2-year-old son over the picture he (my husband) was coloring and how it wasn’t my son’s picture and that he (my son) should keep his stinky little crayons on his own page and not mess with his (my husband’s) masterpiece. Which, by the way, was a picture of Elmo and Cookie Monster.

And it obviously doesn’t make me feel better to know that I’m going to eat salmon for dinner tonight (which I’m cooking) instead of the big greasy bacon cheeseburger with a side of chocolate that I so want right now. Can you tell what time of the month it is?

But I did sneak in to my daughter’s room after she had fallen asleep and gave her hugs and kisses and told her that I loved her and that I’m sorry for taking out my bad day on her. She didn’t wake up. Though she did grunt and throw her arm out to the side hitting me in the shoulder. Serves me right. I’ll just have to tell her again in the morning.

are we sure I’m turning 30 in a few months and not 3?


Written by nicolemarie

June 7, 2007 at 10:29 pm

8 Responses

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  1. oh man. these are the moments that are hard enough to acknowledge to ourselves – much less post in a blog for all to comment! I know that feeling. That level of aggravation and frustration with your children not listening to you and you get to a point where you just REACT. And usually not in the most positive way.

    Regarding the “don’t wake me if you pee” comment…I’ve said stuff like that to my kids too – things that are obviously not right to say but you get soooo fed up with them not listening, not behaving that it seems like you just need to get their attention by being, well, mean. Then you feel like a total shmuck afterwards.

    But it doesn’t sound like this is a daily occurence in your household (if it is I’d be worried), nor are you physically hurting your child. You were just beaten down and you lost it. Tomorrow is another day – I hope it’s a better one for you!


    June 8, 2007 at 12:04 am

  2. my mom dumped a cup of milk over my younger sister’s head because she was irritated at all the milk spilling my young sister was doing. my sister is pretty well-adapted (she’s 31) and living a fairly successful life. poop happens. well, in this case, water! thanks for your candid, funny and honest tales! warmly, lisamoon


    June 8, 2007 at 2:09 am

  3. Hillarious! I’m sorry, but I couldn’t help rolling with laughter.

    Great post.



    June 8, 2007 at 11:31 am

  4. That’s awesome! Seriously. I think that was almost a perfect reaction.


    June 8, 2007 at 12:35 pm

  5. Ok you are so funny. You totally won this one. I am a mother as you know and sometimes I feel doing the same thing. But, thanks goodness we have the 7 o’clock rule (no drinking water after 7). But I still have a 12 year old who always wants to drink a whole gallon of water before bed. I keep telling her if you do pee in your bed your whole class will know. I do’t know if it will happen but if does she knows the consequence. I love the way you dealt with her in the end. It was just like a perfect mother would do in a bad day. You are a great mom!!!Trust me!!!


    June 8, 2007 at 12:51 pm

  6. I think every parent has been there at one time or another, and we’ve all done things that, in retrospect, could have been handled a little better. I wouldn’t beat myself up over it too much.

    My dad threw a cup of ice water in my face when I was 12 or 13. I was getting worse and worse about getting up and getting ready for school and had missed the bus twice that week already. So the third time he came in to tell me to get up, he really woke me up. I didn’t oversleep again for quite a while.


    June 8, 2007 at 3:06 pm

  7. Aw! I’m not a mom but I know my mom, raising my brother and me, had more than one similar instance and I think a well-placed mommy tantrum sometimes gets the point across!


    June 8, 2007 at 4:31 pm

  8. I’m glad you all enjoyed the post. We had a really good laugh about it today.


    June 8, 2007 at 7:40 pm

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